Content Marketing for Naturopathic & Functional Medicine
Naturopathic and functional medicine are mysteries to many people. Unless people understand what it is and how it can transform their life, they will not come.
How, then do you educate people on the valuable service you provide and convince them that they need it?
It takes time. It takes consistency. It takes repetition.
It takes content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a way to share free and educational content that connects with potential clients. Content marketing is different than advertising because it leads with value and only asks for the sale as secondary. Content marketing typically involves sharing high-value information on social media, blogs, and emails.
Benefits of Content Marketing
Content marketing is the ONLY way to stay top of mind with your current and potential clients. With nearly every man, woman, and child spending hours online every day (including the social media scroll and obsessive checking of the email inbox), you need to show up. If you don’t, your competitors will. The business will go to them.
Content marketing keeps you connected with your clients in a way that will result in:
- More traffic to your website
- More leads for your business
- More trust and belief in your services
- More appointments and sales
Read on for some tips to make your content marketing strategy streamlined and successful.
Statistics on Content Marketing
The following statistics are sourced from 2020 data posted by Hubspot:
What people are doing…
- Roughly ⅔ of US adults report that they are Facebook users
- In 2023, Instagram is projected to reach 120.3 million monthly active users in the U.S
- Almost 40% of all marketing emails are opened on mobile devices
What companies are doing…
- 78% of companies have a team of 1-3 content specialists
- 77% of companies say they have a content marketing strategy
- 94% of marketers use social media for content distribution
What marketers are saying….
- Email marketing has the highest return on investment for small businesses
- Instagram is the social channel with the second-highest return on investment for marketers
- Roughly 80% of marketers have reported an increase in email engagement over the past 12 months
- Improved traffic, lead generation, and growing fan loyalty are among the top reasons why marketers see value in employing social networks in their campaigns
Content Marketing Tips for Naturopathic & Functional Medicine Practitioners
Tip #1: Get the Foundation in Place
Content marketing means you will be sharing valuable information on social media, blog posts, and emails. The point of that information is to get people to feel connected with you and trust your expertise. However, you should absolutely NOT share content merely for the sake of sharing content.
The content you share should point people toward the next step to engage with you. It should be linked to your offers or invitations to schedule. That becomes very simple once you have the foundation of your marketing in place. Here’s what you need:
- A website with a clear message and a clear call to action
- A lead-generating offer that captures email addresses
- An automated email welcome sequence that sends to new subscribers and invites them to book appointments or buy
Once you have these foundational pieces in place, share links in your social media profiles, email footers, and blog post templates that direct people back to the foundation.
Now you’re ready to start sharing content.
Tip #2: Repurpose Content
Some people are social media scrollers. Others love checking their email. Still others like to settle in and read full articles on a blog. If you want to reach the most people, share your content in all of these ways.
Do not worry about duplicate content!
So what if somebody reads the same information in an email and on a social post? That’s actually great. Repetition is the key to getting people to understand and trust you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing the same information on multiple platforms.
Here’s how you can do it. Write content for 3-4 social media posts per week (amounting to 15-20 posts per month). Copy your top 4-8 favorites of those posts (probably the most research-backed and newsworthy ones) into a curated list for a blog post. Title the post “January Health Updates from Doctor So-and-So.” Copy your top 4 favorites into 4 separate emails and schedule them to send out once a week.
Please read the rest of this article first, but if you want to make this process super easy on yourself, get all your content created for you in the Nurture Unleashed membership.
Tip #3: Speak to the Need
People only really care about what you are talking about if you are solving a problem that they have. Think about the problems that your ideal clients struggle with. What do they really want to know about? What will make them feel informed and cared about?
These are the things you want to include in your content marketing plan.
When you’re writing social media posts or emails or blogs, always try to connect your information with the problems your clients have. If you’re sharing a research update on vitamin D, don’t just go on about vitamin D mechanisms. Tell your audience why they should care. Tell them that most people are deficient and that vitamin D deficiency can seriously compromise their immunity. Now maybe they’ll care. And listen. And click through.
Tip #4: Be Real
A huge part of content marketing is connecting with your audience. It helps to remember that the people reading your posts and emails are PEOPLE. Write to them in the same way you would if you were talking.
Speak from the heart, share what you believe, and don’t get caught up on proper sentence structure and punctuation.
Look, I’m a writer and care about sentence structure and punctuation as much as anybody. But the reality is that most people care more about WHAT you are saying than the nitty gritty details of how.
Tip #5: Go for a Quick Win
I have written for a lot of naturopathic and functional medicine professionals who are so passionate about what they do that they want to share EVERYTHING. When they write a blog article about probiotics, they want to explain the microbiome, the gut-brain axis, leaky gut, parasites, candida, etc. etc. This approach quickly gets out of hand.
What you need to do in content marketing is to share only a piece of the puzzle. Share one part of the whole picture. This way people will not get overwhelmed. They’ll learn something quick and easy that they can wrap their head around.
The other benefit of sharing only one small part of the bigger picture is that it leaves an opening and reason for potential clients to reach out for more. It saves the in-depth and juicy part for what they get when they actually pay for your services.
Tip #6: Connect to a Call to Action
Content marketing is a way to share free and valuable information, but you will waste your time and money if you don’t connect the content to a paid offer. This is easy to do if you have the foundation of your marketing in place (tip #1). All you need to do is link back to your website or free opt-in from your emails, blogs, and social media.
You do not need to be pushy to make this strategy effective. Provide the high value, and have a link in the footer of your email to your paid offer. When you provide enough value on a consistent basis, you can occasionally sprinkle in promotional posts and emails without coming across as too salesy.
Challenges Naturopathic & Functional Medicine Practitioners Face with Content Marketing
By far the biggest roadblock to content marketing is time. It takes loads of time to create content on a consistent basis. A bare minimum that I recommend for a content marketing strategy requires you to post one blog article per month, send one email per week, and share at least 3-4 social media posts per week.
That’s a full-time job.
When I see naturopathic or functional medicine practitioners come to grips with the amount of time it takes to pump out consistent content, they usually start looking to hire a writer or marketer. That’s great if you have a big marketing budget but not so great if you don’t. Content marketing can cost you a bare minimum of a thousand dollars a month (pretty much just for social media) and upwards of multiple thousands of dollars per month for a complete content marketing strategy.
That’s money that most private-practice docs just aren’t willing to spend.
A Content Marketing Solution for Naturopathic & Functional Medicine Professionals
About Sarah Cook at Wellness Writer
Sarah Cook, ND, is a Health Copywriter, StoryBrand Certified Guide, and creator of The Wellness Copy Shop. If you're a naturopathic doctor, functional medicine practitioner, or anybody with a message of health, Sarah is your copy gal. Find out more here.